A New Option for Author Website Shopping Carts

I’ve written posts before about the options for building online shopping carts for authors. But there’s some news this week that gives authors yet another way to sell their books online.

Lulu.com, one of the industry leaders in the self-publishing and selling of e-books, launched a new e-commerce platform this week. Their site underwent many upgrades that reportedly can improve the self-publishing experience.

But there’s one little tidbit that was part of this announcement which intrigued me the most:

The new platform creates an entirely new infrastructure for Lulu.com to build upon, which greatly increases the speed at which the company can release new features and updates in the future to better equip customers with the tools they need, when they need them.  One example being Lulu.com’s soon to be available ecommerce APIs (Application Programmer Interfaces), which enable businesses and publishers to build Lulu.com and Elastic Path’s ecommerce tools into their own branded websites – absolutely free.

If I am understanding this correctly, this means that authors will now be able to embed the Lulu shopping cart into their own website at no cost. They can sell one or more of their books through their site, allow people to purchase multiple copies of each one … and these readers would never leave the author’s site.

For authors who publish through Lulu and only sell e-books, this is a huge boon. I know I’ll be recommending it to authors who fit the bill.

Unfortunately, that’s only a small percentage of authors … at least as of today. Remember: this shopping cart will only allow you to sell the e-book through Lulu. You can’t sell hard-copies, and you can’t let people purchase it through Amazon, B&N, etc…

That said, this may be one of those defining moments that causes even more authors to publish through Lulu. After all, self publishing and e-books are the wave of the future. This news can just help speed that process along.